Methods of Child Study: Questionnaire: Advantages and Disadvantages

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  • The questionnaire is a tool that uses questioning as a strategy to gather responses. It consists of a set of written questions which calls for responses on the part of individual(s) or the subject(s).

  • It is a very concise, preplanned set of questions to elicit information about the feelings, beliefs, experiences, perceptions, or attitudes on a selected topic. The questionnaire may be self-administered, or group administered.

Questionnaire Method

Questionnaire Method

Types of Questionnaire

The questionnaire may be closed ended and open ended. Let us study about theses as follows:

  • Closed ended Questionnaire: It consists of a list of pre-decided questions with forced choices. The respondent is required to choose one of choices from the set of multiple options provided.

  • Open Ended Questionnaire: It consists of list of pre decided questions where there is a scope to provide descriptive and subjective responses.

Advantages of Questionnaire

  • Administering questionnaires involves low cost and is less time-consuming.

  • Information can be collected from a large number of individuals in a relatively short period of time

  • Each respondent receives the same set of questions phrased in exactly the same way. Questionnaires may, therefore, yield data more comparable than information obtained through an interview.

Disadvantages of Questionnaire

  • It can only be conducted with literate respondents.

  • There is no scope to clarify meanings or explain the questions and the responses.

  • There is no scope for follow-up questions.

  • It has a low return rate i.e. the respondent may not return the filled in questionnaire.

  • There is a possibility that the respondent may not answer all the questions.

Factors to be Kept in Mind While Preparing a Questionnaire

  • Wording, sequence of questions and instructions have to be carefully prepared

  • Confidentiality must be ensured

  • Sufficient blank space must be provided in case of open-ended questionnaire.

  • The questionnaire may be provided to the respondents in their local language.

Differences between Questionnaire and Interview

Differences between Questionnaire and Interview
Differences between Questionnaire and Interview



1 Takes place in face-to-face

Administered through a printed form

2 Except for infants and young children, can be used with everyone

Can only be used with literate persons

3 Time consuming

Less time consuming

4 Can be done with only a small number of people at a particular time

Can be administered to a large number of people at a particular time

5 The analyses of responses is complex

Relatively easy to analyses as the responses are received in predefined categories

6 The meaning of questions can be clarified to the interviewee in face to-face situation.

The subjects make their own interpretation since the doubts cannot be clarified

7 Possible to have an in-depth understanding about the respondent

Limits the responses of the respondent since it close-ended

8 Only socially desirable responses may be obtained

Anonymity while answering the questionnaire allows respondents to be more honest

9. Constructing an interview schedule is relatively easy

Construction of close-ended question is time consuming and complex

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